Posted on May 3, 2015
1LT Executive Officer
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Jun05bot3
So here we are, myself and a battle buddy (also a SSG), sitting on CQ. Yes that’s right two Staff Sergeants sitting on CQ, one of the pleasures of being an AIT instructor. For the sake of interpersonal professional development and a means of passing time, we opened a healthy dialogue of standards, or what we perceive to be standards. I am sure most of us are familiar with the days of stripping and waxing floors. So, the topic at hand was – is there really a purpose behind having soldiers do meaningless tasks such as stripping and waxing floors or picking weeds and flipping rocks? For the sake of argument, or playing devil’s advocate if you will, I say that those tasks bring soldiers together and forge long lasting bonds, as they did for me when I was coming up. My colleague argues that they serve no purpose and are quite literally obsolete. What is your take on it?

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LTC Board Member
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I would be in the minority and would say no. The Duke Basketball team is one hell of a team, but none of them needed to buff floors in order to build a team. Having Soldiers buff floors to learn team and life skills may be the best method used by some to date, but I would argue that there are better ways to build teams and teach attention to detail. Namely, things that directly relate to that soldier's MOS.

Doing things primarily because other people did it before you, is usually not the best justification in my view for why to do it. If you had never done this as a junior soldier, would this really be the best idea you would come with up today on how to train new soldiers? Probably not.
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CPT Bde Training Oic (S3)
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we could spend the money hiring cleaners to do the job or have the Soldiers do it. One thing the Army has that civilian organizations don't have is manpower.
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SFC Vet Technician
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Yes. I see it as accomplishing a couple of things.

1. Duties and tasks like this help a soldier develop a sense of pride while honing their attention to detail.
2. These kinds of things have almost become a right of passage; often fondly talked about by older soldiers in their "I'm old school, back in the day" discussions.
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MAJ Contracting Officer
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And I always thought we had to paint the rocks just to fill the time with some activity to keep some sort of discipline (meaning joe would be hiding in the bushes if he wasn't busy)
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CPT Battalion S 1 Oic
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It teaches pride in yourself and surroundings, and discipline, much like pressing BDUs and polishing boots.
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